Hello and welcome to 2019!
I love reading and in 2018 I read 40 books. I would like to have more time to read but it increasingly feels like I can’t fit it in with all of the other things I have to do. I have given my thoughts on a few of the notable mentions that I read last year, as it would take I while for me to review all of them.
1. The Secret Life of Cows, by Rosamund Young
The title of this book may give you the wrong idea, this is not joke book, rather it is a collection of thoughts from Rosamund Young who lives at Kite’s Nest farm and has, over the years, gathered wisdom on the feelings and actions of the cows she has nurtured. This book is intelligent and affectionate, and her anecdotes are told thoughtfully. It is encouraging to hear about the kindness she has for the cows and her farm and I now feel as if I see animals more as individuals with personalities.
2. Still William, by Richmal Crompton
3. Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift
4. Five Have Plenty of Fun, by Enid Blyton
5. The Red-Headed League, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
6. Five on a Secret Trail, by Enid Blyton
7. Five go to Demon’s Rocks, by Enid Blyton
8. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
This is the first time I have read this modern classic and I am sure that everything that could be said about it has been said, but, I found this book powerful and moving. It teaches that kindness and compassion are the most important qualities to have because we don’t know what another person may be feeling or going through. It provides an awareness that our role as human beings requires us to help other people and stand up for what is right. I believe that I will get more understanding from this book when I one day pick it up again as an adult and it will change the way I perceive the world once again.
9. Lone Pine Club – Mystery at Witchend, by Malcolm Saville
My father read the Lone Pine Club series as a child and he suggested I read it too. This book was first published in 1943 and the books are not readily available but I managed to find this one (the first one) at the library. I like reading older books as I find them to be a refreshing break from the sometimes inescapable modern world. The beautiful descriptions of English countryside and carefreeness of the children make this a light read.
10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter series was read to me when I was younger so this was the first time that I read the whole series myself. I have watched the films many times so I thought I would reread the books. I am very glad I did as I had forgotten many of the details that are not in the films which made reading them again a delight. I read through all of the books very quickly because I could not put them down, it is a truly magical series.
11. The Hundred and One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith
I return to this delightful book over and over, and it has to be a childhood favourite, it is not challenging but it is a peaceful and comforting read.
12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling
13. Five on Finniston Farm, by Enid Blyton
14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling
15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling
16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling
17. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling
18. Five have a Mystery to Solve, by Enid Blyton
19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
20. Five are Together Again, by Enid Blyton
21. Famous Five Short Story Collection, by Enid Blyton
22. Ruby Redfort – Look into my Eyes, by Lauren Child
This is probably my sixth time reading the Ruby Redfort series. If I had to choose a favourite series this would be up there. I read the first book as an eight year old in New Zealand and now I am back in the UK, turning fifteen and the books will stay with me into the future. Lauren Child wrote six books in the series, finishing at the end of 2016 and I am still devastated that there won’t be any more. The books are very exciting and the conclusion is an incredible end to the series.
23. Ruby Redfort – Take your Last Breath, by Lauren Child
24. Ruby Redfort – Catch your Death, by Lauren Child
25. Ruby Redfort – Feel the Fear, by Lauren Child
26. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
I really love reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz because it takes you to another world far away with quirky characters and interesting lands. The book is slightly different from the film but still follows Dorothy to the land of Oz and she learns, along with the reader, to love and appreciate what she already has.
27. Ruby Redfort – Pick your Poison, by Lauren Child
28. Ruby Redfort – Blink and you Die, by Lauren Child
29. The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
I watched the film version several times and really enjoyed it so decided to read the play. It seemed to dissolve some of the thoughts on my mind – a quick read and charmingly witty. Wilde was decidedly clever with the storyline.
30. William – the Bold, by Richmal Crompton
31. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
32. Lionboy, by Zizou Corder (A nom de plume for Louisa Young and her daughter Isabel Young)
I liked the Lionboy series – the plot is unique and exciting and the ending of the first book leaves you on a cliffhanger making you more impatient for the next book. Some of the writing is slightly simplistic but is made up for with the storyline and diverse characters.
33. The Battle of the Sun, by Jeanette Winterson
34. Sunny Side Up: a story of kindness and joy, by Susan Calman
I am an avid watcher of Strictly and supported Susan Calman through her journey on the show. Her book was interesting and her cheerful perspective on the world is to be admired. Calman talks about her time on Strictly and becoming a comedian and interactions of kindness she has had with others. It was very different to anything that I have read before and it made me stop to consider some of the little things that make the world a better place.
35. Urchin of the Riding Stars, by M.I. McAllister
I remembered reading these books while on a camping holiday when I lived in New Zealand. I knew I had devoured them at the time but I couldn’t recall very much about them so I just decided to buy the first book and I am so grateful that I did. This is definitely one of my favourite series’. The books are set on the Island of Mistmantle which is beautifully depicted and I have a very clear picture in my mind. Each book has a captivating plotline and I would happily spend hours reading these books. I still need to read the last two in the series but, disappointingly there seems to be only a limited number of copies which are quite expensive online.
36. Lionboy – The Chase, by Zizou Corder
37. Lionboy – The Truth, by Zizou Corder
38. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
39. Urchin and the Heartstone, by M.I. McAllister
40. The Heir of Mistmantle, by M.I. McAllister
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more things that you learn, the more places you will go.”
– Dr. Seuss
When I was writing about some of these books I felt that words cannot really explain how fulfilling they all are, I would just advise that you read books that you love so you can go on a journey where you are no longer staring at pages but walking through far-away lands.